Last Thursday, the Greek community was invited to a Fraternity and Sorority Kickoff in Hubbell Auditorium.

The goal of the meeting was to introduce new programs that were to be implemented in the fall, some of which caused controversy within Greek life.

Administrators present at the meeting included Dean of Students Jody Asbury, Associate Dean of Students Matthew Burns, and Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Smalls.

The meeting began with an introduction to the Fraternity and Sorority Management Committee – a committee consisting of students, deans and trustees which set goals for the whole Greek system, as well as monitor the growth and size of the community and oversee programming initiatives.

Also introduced were the two subcommittees – the Facilities and Finance Subcommittee and the Standards Subcommittee.

“From 2003 to 2004 the committee started work and the [Fraternity and Sorority Kickoff] meeting discussed the results of the committee and the creation of a new structure,” Smalls said.

The “new structure” is a set of programs created by the Fraternity and Sorority Management Committee that were originally planned to be instituted this fall.

The primary program is a goal setting strategy to help fraternities and sororities better use the resources available to them.

The implementation of a New Member Orientation Program, a five session series for new members, was originally scheduled for this semester, but due to logistical problems will not be put in effect until the spring semester.

Topics to be covered include leadership, hazing, accountability, time management and alcohol and drug issues. The new programs are one of the ways The College is trying to strengthen their connections to Greek life on campus.

“We’ve been trying to strengthen our connections and ties to you,” Asbury said. “We want to connect some of the strengths you have to some strengths in The College.”

An additional meeting for Greek leadership was held on Wednesday where Asbury stressed the administration’s desire to help Greek life make the mostof The College’s resources without imposing punitive requirements.

“I am not expecting a bureaucratic blitz,” Asbury said. “We’re expecting you to step up and take responsibility.”

The new standards being put in place are one of the ways The College is trying to better assess the Greek community.

The standards will be based on goals set by the chapters and cover the fields of scholarship, community building, leadership, programming and student conduct.

Every semester, The College reviews whether or not each chapter is fulfilling their goals.

“When a group is failing, what business do they have recruiting new members?” Associate Dean of Students Matthew Burns said.

Burns went on to assure the students, “It’s not going to be new rules and regulations – you just need to tell us who you want to be.”

The programs were initially met with significant resistance. Students seemed concerned that they would take up a lot time and that they hadn’t been given enough notice to fit them into their plans for the semester.

“I hadn’t even heard of the New Member Orientation Program, with better communication it would have been better received,” Kappa Delta Sorority President Julia Watson said.

After the second meeting, which helped clarify The College’s ideas, concerns were assuaged.

“I think it shows the university is making an effort to work cooperatively with the chapters,” Fraternity Presidents’ Council Programming Chair and Sigma Chi Vice President Ryan Severson said. “It remains to be seen how effectively these programs will impact Greek life, but I think it is a positive step.”

“The goal is to create a college-centered fraternity and sorority system,” Smalls said. “I think we are really on the cutting edge of this.”

Jarrett can be reached at bjarrett@campustimes.org.



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